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UN tribunal grants temporary leave to former top Yugoslav military figure

UN tribunal grants temporary leave to former top Yugoslav military figure

The United Nations tribunal set up to deal with the worst abuses committed during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s has granted temporary release to a former top Yugoslav military figure facing trial on war crimes charges over events in Kosovo in 1999.

The trial chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which is based in The Hague, on Friday granted provisional release on compassionate grounds to Nebojša Pavković.

Mr. Pavković is allowed to return to Serbia from 25 March to 2 April under strict conditions, including 24-hour electronic surveillance by Serbian authorities, according to the terms of the release.

A former commander of the Third Army of the Yugoslav Army and former chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, Mr. Pavković is on trial with five others – Milan Milutinović, Nikola Šainović, Dragoljub Ojdanić, Vladimir Lazarević and Sreten Lukić – over an alleged campaign of terror and violence against Kosovo Albanians and other non-Serbs living in Kosovo in 1999. All six men face charges of murder, deportation, forcible transfer and persecution of thousands of Kosovo Albanians and other non-Serbs.

The trial of the six men began in July 2006, with the prosecution completing its case in May last year and five of the six defence cases have now been completed.